Following success in establishing a farmers’ cooperative in Murcia, Negros Occidental, Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) based here is expanding its assistance on business entrepreneurship to two municipalities.
Anileen Pajarillo, station lead of Rice Business Innovation System (RiceBIS) program, said that about 200 farmers in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and Canalon City, Negros Oriental are attending trainings on rice production and agri-enterprise following strict health protocol.
According to Pajarillo, the project aims to increase rice yield in the area by 1t/ha and to link the farmers to business development service providers. This year, farmers intend to sell their fresh palay through group marketing and will venture into well-milled rice trading next year.
Pajarillo said the local government units are thankful that the farmers are improving on their rice production practices and are gradually shifting their mindset into becoming entrepreneurs.
“Farmers are currently focusing on the judicious use of pesticides and proper management of water and nutrients. Although average yield per hectare was at 3.9-4.6t, we hope to reduce the production cost,” she said.
Meanwhile, the RiceBIS Community in Murcia is already an established cooperative with the Department of Agrarian Reform providing the farmers with training, facilities, and machinery. By reducing seeding rate and using farm implements such as transplanter and drum seeder, rice yield increased by 1t/ha while production cost was reduced from P12/kg to around P7/kg.
DA-PhilRice’s RiceBIS Community program educates groups of farmers about rice production technologies combined with marketing approaches that build their business capacity. Browse https://www.facebook.com/RiceBIS to know more about this program.